Sure, Iran and North Korea — along with another of their toxic allies, Russia — were partners as targets of the nearly unanimous sanctions that recently sailed through Congress. But they’re partners in so many ways — other than both holding U.S. hostages — from the weapons trade to circumvention of sanctions that every action coming out of Pyongyang needs to be weighed in broader context of the Iran relationship, and even as a test run of Iran’s ultimate ambitions for its own weapons capability.
Iran is almost living vicariously through North Korea’s horn-locking with the Trump administration, engaging in weapons-grade trolling with state media loving the story and underscoring that Pyongyang is simply moving to protect the DPRK from unbridled U.S. aggression — the same convenient argument that Tehran makes to justify its own provocative actions.
And there are early indications that Iran plans to act like Kim Jong Un’s war room — in the campaign sense, at a minimum — during Pyongyang’s testing of UN and Washington fortitude. A day before Kim’s Guam threat, the semi-official Fars News Agency ran a retrospective on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in which they defended most nuclear countries including North Korea: “So much is said every day about nuclear weapons and threats from nuclear-armed states, but that one historic fact remains among all the blather,” went the piece. “For all the talk, only America has dropped the bomb.”